Thursday, June 5, 2008

One Has to Wonder ...

Interior Designers Not Credible?

How important is it for interior designers to follow the mainstream? In a country where celebrity and mass market trends are so revered, one has to wonder, do professional interior designers sacrifice credibility amongst their clientele by supporting independent artists and designers? Maybe few people even think about this sort of thing. I would bet though, I am not the only one. There are many, many individuals who traditionally require the “best” from their hired professionals. OK, no problem there, except that the definition of the “best” is oftentimes limited to high-end, well-known designers who put their names on the work of others. Please understand, I have the utmost respect for those who have paved the way and built empires through many years hard work. However, is it fair to consumers that society perpetuate this gross misrepresentation?

Sure, I am a little biased because I am an independent designer. But I certainly speak for thousands who know that when a designer or artist is the primary participant in each stage of design, from concept and sketch to production and packaging, the end result is sure to be one of painstaking perfection. As a trained Interior Designer, I have felt the pressure to place name brand items in clients’ homes when perhaps other pieces may have made a more cohesive space. Anyway, the point is, how can we as design professionals, in all capacities, re-educate the consumers so they see the beauty and craftsmanship that exists in independent art?

So then the question would be, “do professional interior designers sacrifice credibility by providing their clients exclusively mass market items?” Ahhhhh!

This editorial is not to suggest that any professional provides sub-standard service or less than impeccable attention to detail. It is merely a question on the list of checks and balances as we all try to be more aware of social responsibility, environmental causes and true economic stimulation.




Kristina Law said...

Dana, I agree with you:)

It is a question that exactly points to the fact that we will need to educate our audience and create a following the same way as the name brands did in the past. If we take ownership of this issue and approach it from the right angle we can be quite successful at it. That is one of the reasons why we started this blog.

Unknown said...

First off, Etsy is a new market place, most people I mention Etsy too, have no idea what I'm speaking about. As a designer myself, most clients do not care where an item comes from, they just want something beautiful, or functional that fits into their decor. We need to get our name out in the Interior Design world, as a new way of shopping for a client. I agree we have to educate people to this new concept.

Aussie Woodcraft Design said...

great post, glad to know someone also thinks like me. just sharing my little experience as a fashion design teacher. The very first day when my students came to class--all of them talked about the designer labels and wanted to design similar stuff blah blah blah, but by the time they finished their entire course they were so proud of (individuality) their own designs and most of them went into haute couture made to measure businesses and moved on from there. Some also ended working for the big name labels-- who picked up fresh ideas from these newly graduates and milked them away to keep making big names. hmmmmmm This is to show that those big labels are also driven by the unknown little artists about whom the buyers have no idea, except the --"designer label".
We just have to keep educating the public and i am sure the trend is moving towards individuality, uniqueness. For sure we have to knock the doors of the "interior designers" to have a broad spectrum vision.

ShabbyBoutique said...

So true-so true! I have been in business for 9 years and have sold some of my items to a few celebrities, although their privacy is of utmost importance to me so I would never share who. But as a former interior designer now home decor artist, I too understand that even though the clients want name brand mass produced items in their homes, you will most of the time get better quality and detailed items from the handcrafted artist. Just as in the items I create for the home, I pay close attention to details and won't sell anything that I don't feel can stand the test of time (like 3 boys..LOL) or isn't in my eyes perfect. If a stitch is out of place I will rip it apart and resew it. If it's crooked I will take it apart and redo it.

There are so many mass produced items with name brands that I have seen and would never in a million years put my name on it. Pillows for instance that are sloppy, crooked, mis-shapen, understuffed with cheap polyfill and will fall apart the first time you wash them. Sure it has a designer name on them, and are probably cheaper and you can buy more of them than a pillow bought from an individual that creates them by hand and from scratch. But is it worth the money that you spend to have them all fall apart or get lumpy and lose their shape? Or would you rather have one quality handmade pillow as your accent/show piece that will last?

Myself, I would rather have a few quality pieces that will last, made by people that love what they do and put detail and time into their pieces. Rather than having a lot of cheaper made not going to last pieces that are mass produced with a designer label. And this is something that I have always tried to teach my clients whether it was my former interior design clients or my current home decor clients.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all of the mass produced items or designer labels are like that. And I'm in no way bashing trendy celebrity designers. All I'm saying is that when you are shopping for quality items or designing for your clients, take another look at individual home decor artists and compare the quality and detail. Also buy what you think is the best fit for your budget and decor because trends come and go, but quality lasts forever...Jewel ;o)

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